PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM

by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D

Abstract

The greatest problem that we face today is that it is very hard for people to change. Science has advanced manís potential for a longer and happier life in many areas but is still very lacking in the one area that holds the key to bringing this potential to it full fruition: manís great difficulty in breaking free of negative programming. We have in recent decades made great progress in programming and reprogramming computers but when it comes to the main computer – the human brain – we are still very much in the dark. And unless this key is found soon the world is in danger of being totally destroyed. Armageddon is not far away. To quote from the introduction to my book, Towards Greater Freedom & Happiness (TGFH):

"It has been said many times that man is a creature of habit. What does this mean exactly? It means that much of our behavior has become so deeply ingrained that it is habitual, involuntary or sub-conscious (i.e., beyond our conscious control). This of course is no problem if all of our behavior happens to be positive. Unfortunately, we know that most of the time this is just not the case. Thus, although many would not care to admit it, most of us are not really free. How many of us don't often find ourselves prisoners of our negative habits, attitudes and emotions? Even when we know the original cause of our negative behavior, it usually doesn't seem to help for it has become involuntary or automatic. The harder we struggle to free ourselves, the more tightly entangled we become. The major problem with man throughout the ages has been that he hasn't really developed a systematic method of controlling these negative reflexes. For the most part, they have controlled him instead. Yes, there have been numerous attempts to transcend this mental imprisonment. These include sorcery, religion, eastern disciplines like meditation and yoga, and most recently, western psychology. And these attempts have been successful in reaching a certain percentage of people. But there still remains a very large percentage who have yet to be reached. And we need to get to them soon, for at the phenomenally fast rate at which technology has advanced during the past century, man now has the means to totally destroy himself and will unless we can get to him first."

In actuality, one solution has been found. It is a program called Self-Programmed Control – a simple but powerful systematic set of techniques for facilitating reprogramming combined with a clear idea of what positive changes to make – a positive direction component (positive guidance: habits, attitudes, beliefs...) for achieving greater happiness and peace. The program has already achieved some rather miraculous results in the areas of education, medicine, work incentive, industry and drug rehabilitation as reported in TGFH (pp. 198-217).

As the word of this program begins to spread (through effective promotion) more and more people will learn its methods and incorporate its positive philosophy. I foresee several key areas through which the program will be able to reach the most people: education, medicine, crime, industry and religion. As a result, each of these areas will go through some major changes starting with the next 30 years, and Iím sure continuing on well into the rest of this coming first century of the new millennium.

Education

The main shortcoming that has held back people in the past from taking full advantage of the educational opportunities in the world today has been an insufficient amount of emphasis on what I feel are the three main factors determining a studentís level of success in school: Self-efficacy of both students & teachers (belief in oneís capabilities), learning skills, and the ability to deal with personal problems. As a result of programs like SPC which can play a key role in helping in all three areas, combined with a new "non-screening" attitude on the part of education (i.e., realizing that all students are capable of high achievement rather than assuming only a small percentage are) we will see tremendous strides in finally ridding the world of one of its greatest plagues – ignorance.

To reiterate, the changes we will see in education in the next 30 years will be:

  1. Elimination of the "screening mentality" where in the past we would first determine by means of tests who the "smart ones" and who the "dumb ones" were so we could treat them accordingly. By ridding ourselves of this negative self-fulfilling prophecy we should now be free to institute the necessary changes (see following two points) that would allow all students to achieve their highest potential.

  2. Schools of the future will provide programs like SPC which will effectively teach students the life skills necessary to eliminate the currently ever-present debilitating "personal problems" factor which so often interferes with learning.

  3. By teaching programs like SPC in the schools we will insure that all students are ready to learn regardless of their initial high or low family influence not only with regards to life skills but learning capabilities as well. By raising all studentsí feelings of self-efficacy and learning skills to the same high level, we can expect the same high performance from all students. The old attitude of "itís up to the students to come in ready to learn" or "itís up to the parents to get the students ready to learn" will be a thing of the past. (Expecting the parents to get their children prepared  – especially in the case of the poorer families – is often like asking the blind to lead the blind.) It will be incumbent on all schools to insure that all students are ready and prepared to learn.
Medicine
  1. A refinement of the field of Alternative Medicine (aka Complimentary Medicine) (a) where greater emphasis will be placed on the more valuable mental/spiritual approaches as opposed to the more currently emphasized physical approaches such as nutrition, acupuncture and chiropractic. Although the latter do have some intrinsic value, a good part of their value I feel can be traced to two factors: one, the fact that their use lessens the use of standard medical treatments with the latterís ever-present iatrogenic dangers; and two, the strong placebo factor which can help at least temporarily bring out the bodyís own natural defenses. And (b) a refinement, in that alternative medicine will become more scientifically-based and less couched in the meta-physical explanations currently being used – ones that have tended to alienate the standard medical community. As a result alternative medicine will become even more acceptable to MDs.

  2. A significant decrease in deaths due to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Type II diabetes: Cancer will decrease because the biggest factor underlying cancer (besides over-exposure to cancer producing agents) is the immunosupressive mental state of hopelessness. The SPC psychoneurological approach has already proven to be quite effective in reversing this state of hopelessness and leading to total remission in a number of cancer patients. [see Towards Greater Freedom & Happiness (pp.143-154)] The major breakthrough will come after a large-scaled controlled test of the SPC-PNI approach to cancer. On top of this, as the SPC-PNI approach is used more and more, there will be an additional decrease in cancer deaths as a result of the subsequent decrease in the use of standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation which tend to be highly immunosupressive. Heart disease and Type II diabetes will be decreased considerably as more and more people learn of programs like SPC which provide a multifaceted approach to stress control (biofeedback, attitudinal changes, time management, etc.) – including the all-important re-programming of all these new beneficial stress reducing behaviors. Stress has been shown to be the biggest factor in cholesterol buildup in the arteries (see Type A Behavior and Your Heart by Meyer Friedman, M.D.). And with regards to diabetes we know from the work of Hans Selye that part of the "Fight or Flight response" (otherwise known as the stress response) is an increase in blood sugar levels.

  3. A decrease in all the problems caused by experiencing chronic stress during pregnancy and inability to relax during childbirth. Current studies have shown that chronic stress during pregnancy can lead to a greater incidence of premature delivery, low birth weight and low I.Q. as well as a predisposition to high blood pressure and heart disease in adulthood. Teaching women how to effectively diffuse stress and anxiety during pregnancy not only will help avoid these problems but their new ability to relax at will will also help minimize the pain during childbirth and chances of damage to the babyís brain during difficult deliveries caused by a woman not being able to relax and dilate sufficiently. As a result, diseases like Cerebral Palsy will become a thing of the past.

  4. All of the above will result in much longer lifespans. We may very well see the day soon coming when living to 100 will become more the rule than the exception (and not because of genetic engineering).
Crime

A program like SPC will help tremendously in decreasing crime considerably. It will help in at least two major ways:

  1. By decreasing the chances of school dropout. 80-90% of all convicts are school dropouts.

  2. By finally providing a truly effective way of reprogramming the negative behavior patterns of criminals. Itís so sad to see that our criminal justice system is still virtually in the dark ages with regards to rehabilitation. The recidivism rate continues to be high and building more prisons and hiring more police is not the real answer.
Industry

Because the name of the game in industry is money and increased productivity, it is most likely to be the most receptive to a program like SPC. SPC will help increase productivity in at least three major ways:

  1. By decreasing the propensity for illness;
  2. By reducing the number of accidents on the job (stress is a major cause); and
  3. By providing a more educated and a more positive workforce.
Religion

The start of the new millennium is a perfect time for a reformation in religion. That reformation I predict will be a major blending of religion and science, two entities heretofore thought to be antithetical. The main factor allowing for this coming together will be the realization that religion no longer needs to rely on super-natural explanations (explanations that defy the laws of nature) for its miraculous religious occurrences.

How does SPC play a role in this coming together? Well for one thing SPC presents a rational explanation for the power of belief and faith. One of the key factors in the success of SPC in facilitating reprogramming is its systematic approach to increasing the belief and free will factors. As explained in both TGFH and my recent paper "Science in Support of Religion" belief has the ability to change behavior by both intensifying oneís response to thought as well as facilitating higher-order conditioning (reprogramming). I define belief as concentration on a thought to the exclusion of anything that would contradict it.

As a result of the coming together of science and religion I feel that both the scientific- minded (often agnostics or atheists) and the religious-minded will be benefited. The former can benefit from what I feel are the two key aspects of religion (ways of building the belief factor, and positive guidance). And the latter can benefit from rational logical approaches (such as SPCís) to expanding and supplementing these two key factors.


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